Steady Growth in Physician Participation in ACOs and Medical Homes

Steady Growth in Physician Participation in ACOs and Medical Homes

In the ever-evolving landscape of healthcare, the role of physicians is continually adapting to new care models and payment methods. Recent findings from an American Medical Association (AMA) survey reveal a consistent trend in physician participation in Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs) and medical homes.

The AMA’s survey, which gathered insights from approximately 3,500 physicians, indicates that physician engagement in ACOs and medical homes has grown steadily since 2014. This growth is particularly noteworthy as fee-for-service (FFS) continues to be the most prevalent payment method in healthcare, despite efforts to transition to alternative payment models.

Key Survey Findings:

  1. Medical Homes on the Rise: In 2022, more than one-third (34.4%) of physicians practiced in a medical home, which was accredited or recognized. This percentage shows a significant increase from 2020 (32.3%) and 2014 (23.7%). The upward trajectory of medical homes underscores the evolving healthcare landscape and the increased emphasis on patient-centered care.

  2. ACO Participation: Physician engagement in ACOs has shown remarkable growth, with 57.8% of physicians indicating their practice belonged to at least one type of ACO in 2022, compared to 44% in 2016. This trend highlights the collaborative approach to care delivery in ACOs and their expanding role in modern healthcare.

  3. Types of ACOs: The survey also reveals the prevalence of different ACO types. Commercial ACOs were the most common, with 45.1% participation in 2022 (up from 42.7% in 2020), followed by Medicare ACOs at 38.1% in 2022 (36.7% in 2020), and Medicaid ACOs at 30% in 2022 (29.5% in 2020). This diversity in ACO types reflects the adaptability of ACO models to various healthcare contexts.

These findings are sourced from a newly published AMA Policy Research Perspectives report titled [“Payment and Delivery in 2022: Continued Growth in Accountable Care Organizations While Alternative Payment Methods Stagnate”](insert link).

While ACO and medical home participation is growing, the report underlines the continued dominance of fee-for-service as the primary payment method. Approximately 86.4% of physicians reported that their practice received a portion of their revenue through fee-for-service in 2022. Although alternative payment methods were employed by 64.3% of physicians in 2022, this percentage saw a slight decline from 66.8% in 2020.

Among the alternative payment methods, “pay for performance” was the most common, used by 41.4% of physicians. Other methods included bundled payments (39.6%), capitation (25.5%), and shared savings (22.2%).

The evolving healthcare landscape is a testament to the adaptability and resilience of healthcare providers. As healthcare continues to transform, physicians remain at the forefront, embracing new care models, and payment methods to ensure the delivery of high-quality, patient-centric care. Medvise

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